Gaming, Tech News
Intel to debut ASIC chip for Bitcoin mining
Dimapur, Jan. 20 (EMN): American semiconductor manufacturing giant Intel is reportedly planning to venture into the growing cryptocurrency mining market with the debut of its first ASIC (application specific integrated circuit) Bitcoin mining chip.
As reported by Tom’s Hardware, Intel is set to unveil its ‘Bonanza Mine’ chip in the upcoming International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) on February 23.
Unlike traditional GPU’s that, besides rendering graphics in games, can be used to mine a host of cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, an ASIC chip is primarily designed to mine cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin.
It is not confirmed whether or not Intel will debut a “working” ASIC miner or a prototype. However, it has to be said that Intel’s foray into the crypto mining business might solve the GPU shortage that is plaguing the PC gaming space right now.
Even though Ethereum’s Ethash is designed to be incompatible with ASIC miners and hence GPU’s are the way to go when it comes to mining Ethereum, however, Ethereum will be moving away from its “proof-of-work” mining concensus system to a “proof of stake” consensus mechanism soon. This means that GPU’s might become unprofitable to mine Ethereum in the long run and thereby relieve the GPU shortage.
Intel’s ASIC miners will face stiff competition from Bitmain, currently the world’s largest supplier of bitcoin mining devices. However, with decades of experience in designing semiconductors, Intel’s ASIC miners could turn out to be as effective or even better that the ones available on the market. Only time will tell if this assumption is true.
Besides Intel, Nvidia has already gained a foothold in the crypto mining markets. It sells its Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) cards directly to Ethereum mining farms. If you are wondering why GPU’s are getting scarce and the prices have skyrocketed as a result, well now you know.